MOSCOW, June 20. /TASS/. The European Space Agency (ESA) and Russia’s state-run space corporation Roscosmos will soon sign an agreement on cooperation on the Bion program, Jean-Yves Le Gall, the President of France’s National Center for Space Studies (CNES), said on Monday.
"We are preparing a cooperation agreement with Roscosmos in the area of the space science and micro-gravitation research under the Bion program, which we hope to sign with Mr. Komarov [Roscosmos’ head Igor Komarov - TASS] within weeks," he told journalists.
Bion is a series of Russia satellites used to study radiation and zero gravity effects on living organisms. The first such satellite, Kosmos-605, was launched as far back as 1973. The first satellite of the Bion-M series was orbited in 2013.
According to earlier reports, Russia plans to send about 20 billion rubles ($313.42 million) on two more Bion-M satellites.
According to Jean Yves le Gall, the ESA has no plans for finding an alternative to Russia’s Soyuz space rockets to put its satellites in space.
"I have no information the ESA may cancel plans for launching any payloads in space with the Soyuz rocket. I have information to the contrary. Soyuz will be used as a means to put ESA satellites in space for years to come," he said.
The ESA uses Russian rockets Soyuz-ST for launches from the Kourou space site in French Guiana.